Defense attorney

Former Youth Basketball Coach Sentenced for Sex With Minor Found Dead

A deceased inmate identified by the coroner's office Saturday was a former youth basketball coach who was sentenced to a year in jail last week for having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Coroner's Lt. Dave Smith identified him as 47-year-old Carson resident, Herman Charles Nash, who helped lead the boys basketball team at West Hollywood Pacific Hills to a state championship just three years ago.

The death at the Pitchess Detention Center North Facility at 29340 The Old Road was reported to the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 4:54 p.m. Wednesday, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan.

The circumstances of Nash's death are under investigation and details were not immediately released. Smith said an autopsy was pending.

Nash, who worked as a personal trainer in the Los Angeles area and as a basketball coach for the Pacific Elite Basketball Club, was sentenced on April 20 to a year in county jail and 52 weeks of sex offender treatment.

Police said after Nash's arrest last June that the teen girl had received one-on-one training sessions from him. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Anne H. Egerton also barred Nash from having any contact with the girl or any other minors other than his own children and suspended a four-year, four-month state prison term that Nash would only have had to serve if he violated the conditions of his five-year probation.

Nash was taken into custody immediately after the sentencing hearing to begin serving his jail term stemming from his March 3 no-contest plea to three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. He had been scheduled for release on October 9, about halfway through the one-year sentence, according to sheriff's online inmate records.

Defense attorney Robert Schwartz called his client a "beloved figure in the community" and a "remarkable man who made a terrible mistake."

According to a 2013 Los Angeles Times article, Nash was running back at Manual Arts High School, graduating in 1987. He went to become an assistant coach of the boys basketball team at West Hollywood Pacific Hills, leading the squad to the 2013 state championship game after the head coach left during the playoffs to coach the El Salvador national team.

Pacific Hills won the title game, but by then the head coach had returned. Namon Wright, one of the star point guards who was a junior on the title-winning team and is now a sophomore at the University of Missouri, expressed grief and disbelief in several tweets on Thursday.

One read: "Man my coach meant everything to me! I can't stop crying ..."

Another player on that championship team, Brandon Taylor, now a guard at the University of Utah, tweeted, "Will be forever hurt from this one." Nash had five children, according to The Times.

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